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Home-and-home football matchups between Ole Miss and USC canceled

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Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

A highly-anticipated set of home-and-home football matchups between Ole Miss and USC will not be coming to fruition.

Ole Miss Athletics Director Keith Carter confirmed on Tuesday that the two programs will not be facing off on the gridiron as previously scheduled, meaning Rebel fans can go ahead and cancel any pre-planned trips to Los Angeles for the ballgame.

The Rebels were slated to make the trek to the West Coast for the season opener in the fall of 2025 with the Trojans on the docket to come to Oxford in 2026. Many Ole Miss fans looked to the matchup as an opportunity to check “visiting the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum” off the bucket list. Meanwhile, the media was circling that game as a chance to highlight Rebel head coach Lane Kiffin returning to his old stomping grounds, where he was infamously fired in 2013 following a 62-41 loss against Arizona State in September.

During last week’s Rebel Road Trip in Jackson, Carter announced that a temporary hold had been placed on scheduling non-conference opponents due to the ever-changing landscape of college football. The Rebel administrator said that he projects Ole Miss facing off against nine Southeastern Conference (SEC) opponents sometime in the future — a model implemented by the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences — rather than the current format of eight SEC foes on the annual schedule.

Additionally, with the College Football Playoff expanding from four teams to 12 this coming season, it was anticipated that Ole Miss would eradicate any chances for the team to possibly amass a regular season loss that could jeopardize the Rebels’ shot at competing for a national title.

A move that is expected to be frequented by most, if not all, power conference teams, the Rebels and Trojans have forgone a shot at playing each other and will likely select a weaker opponent to fill the void left on the schedule since a team’s rating percentage index (RPI) will not be as big of a factor as it has in previous campaigns.

Simply put, a program has more to lose squaring off against a formidable opponent from a power conference than taking on a Group of Five squad that is much less likely to pull off an upset.

As things stand, Ole Miss is still scheduled to take on The Citadel, Wake Forest, and Tulane next year. No word has been given on an upcoming home-and-home with Virginia Tech set to take place in Blacksburg in 2032 and Oxford in 2037, though it is highly unlikely that the series will take place.

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